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Discussion Starter #1
I've got 2002 big block chevy crewcab that for some reason is a real sled when towing. I'm wanting to switch out the gears from the stock 3:73 to 4:11 to get more towing power. Anybody know if the expense is worth it?
 

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Q2DEATH said:
I've got 2002 big block chevy crewcab that for some reason is a real sled when towing. I'm wanting to switch out the gears from the stock 3:73 to 4:11 to get more towing power. Anybody know if the expense is worth it?
What in the world are you towing? I have a 5.3 liter 2003 Silverado with identical gearing and I pull about 3,300 pounds of boat, motors, and trailer plus a cargo bed full of gear and supplies for 2 people for a 2-week stay in Canada. My truck just barely notices all that stuff is back there.

Are you towing stuff a lot heavier than that????
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My truck is rated at 9900 pounds. My trailer is either 6800 or 7800 pounds loaded. Can't remember which, but its one of those. Even if I carried an extra 1000 pounds of gear, which I don't think I even come close too, at worst I'd be 8800.

Everybody I've talked to has told me that truck should pull the hell out what I've got and I think the same. But it just isn't doing it. The slightest grade in the road, I mean the slightest incline causes my truck to jump up to about 4700-4800 rpms to make any progress. I don't think letting my truck crank that much for extended periods is a good thing. I usually get off the gas and let it down shift and then try to give it as light a pedal as possible at which point I'm just barely moving. If I give it just a little bit of gas pedal it'll downshift againg and bang right up to 4800 rpms. Its frustrating as hell not to mention the 6.9 miles to the gallon I'm getting.

As far as I can tell the truck is in great shape. It runs great, I use synthetic motor oil, always change it around 3000 miles. Do all the prevenative maintainance on the diffs and trans and t-case. I don't know. I've recently done the exhaust, throttle body spacer and air intake. I've got some more low end out of it but thats all.

I use the tow/hual feature on the truck. It sucks to be shelling out all this dough to try and get out of the truck what I feel I should have been getting without any mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just remembered, I had a 2000 5.3 extended cab and that truck had more power than this one does. Strange.
 

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Do you run oversized tires on the truck?
Changing tire sizes changes your "final" gear ratio on the ground too......
Yes changing gears can get expensive and depending on how big your rearend housing is, sometimes you can't go up larger cog sizes cause of the housings.
I run 3.55s in my 00 Dodge Ram with 31" inch tires, I am getting ready to throw 33 inch tires on it now and a hypertech programmer to comp for the tires.
 

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Just a thought, But do you have a trailer break hung up? I would think you should have no problems at all towing that.:rolleyes:
 

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If you are running the stock size tires the new gears won't make that much of a difference, if you put over size tires then it might help. If you did put larger tires on it then you might need new gears in it to get some of your towing power back but the 411's are not going to help you. Going from 373's to 411's is not worth the expense, if you decide to go with more gearing I would look into a little more gearing.
Before you go to the trouble of changing gears I would have the engine checked out good, there is no reason why that big block has trouble pulling. I would also have your fuel system checked. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
These are some great responses guys. The trailer brake is a good one. I don't believe it is hung up. I will definately look into it though. I don't smell brake and I have a digital readout on the break in the truck. When I hit the brake it'll give me a number that corresponds with how much pressure is being applied. When I'm not on the break it is just blank. If it was dragging it seems there would be some readout, but I'll look into it.

My tires are slightly oversized. The stockers were 245 75 R16 and I just purchased some new BFG's that are 265's. Again, my '00 chevy had the same gears with 285's and still more power. Ever since I got the truck its just seemed nutless compared to whats under the hood. Getting on the freeway for instance; short on ramp, hit the gas hard... barely moving. Changed out the fuel filter and had the fuel injector system checked and cleaned, no difference. I guess I'll make and appointment and have the chevy dealer put the truck on the diagnostic machine and see if they come up with anything.
 

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Some GM trannys have a high throttle and idle throttle sensors.
Check your O2 sensors as well.
If you have bad cats or exhaust leaks they could rob you too of power.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, I just called the Chevy dealership and was explaining my problem. Before I even finished the service dude told me, that basically the 6 litre engine is just a pig. He says they get calls on this very subject all the time and that there's really nothing I can do. What I have is a 1500HD which is a half ton truck with 3/4 ton suspension and his guess is that the engine just isn't enough for the truck. He told me one of their employees had the basic 3/4 with the same engine and had the same problem.

Said that for the expense the gears really wouldn't make that much of a difference and in his opinion wasn't even worth it.

When a dealership that makes money off of about $75.00 an hour tells you theres nothing they can look at or do, I've got to believe em.

I do 3-4 out of state hunts a year and am not looking forward to towing under those circumstances, at the same time I really don't want to go out and buy a new truck, diesel, and have those high payments.

The Shaft, thats what I've got.
 

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I dont believe there is "Nothing" you can do.
I am a professional mechanic.....worked at a Chevy lot for 4 years and have ran Uncle Sam's motor-pools for the last 16 years, anyways if you dont want to get rid of the truck and got some $$$ to upgrade then get a good air system (Airaid, or K&N), drop some headers on it, a catback dual exhaust sytem, a 180 degree thermostat, and a hypertech programmer in it.

This will open the airways coming to and exiting the engine and give you a significant power increase....at least 20 HP I would say, although I am gonna break +38 when I finish mine :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
mdewitt71 said:
I dont believe there is "Nothing" you can do.
I am a professional mechanic.....worked at a Chevy lot for 4 years and have ran Uncle Sam's motor-pools for the last 16 years, anyways if you dont want to get rid of the truck and got some $$$ to upgrade then get a good air system (Airaid, or K&N), drop some headers on it, a catback dual exhaust sytem, a 180 degree thermostat, and a hypertech programmer in it.

This will open the airways coming to and exiting the engine and give you a significant power increase....at least 20 HP I would say, although I am gonna break +38 when I finish mine :wink:

I've got the Flowmaster cat back installed already. Was pricing out some headers for it yesterday. The exhaust guy I used told me I'd have head gasket problems and the headers weren't worth it. I think he just didn't want to do the work. Wish now I had pressed the issue and gotten it done then.

I've put in a throttle body spacer and the AEM Brute Force air intake system.

Any particular brand of theromstat I should look at? At this point I might as well go with it.

I haven't bought the programmer because again, people I've talked to that used them have told me for gas engines they didn't get the gains that were advertised. The diesel systems seem to do real well but gas has been a different story.
 

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Yes he sounds lazy..........When you get the headers on, there is a process to get them TIGHT.
First mount them when the engine is completely cold. Torque em down then get the engine HOT...retorque them down. Let the engine cool (like over night) wake up and re-torque again before getting it hot again. Each time it expands and contracts -you re-torque till its set nice and tight.

The hypertech programmer is a very good progrmammer. Jet chips are pretty good too. If you go to the websites you can see some actual dyno test results.
The lil $10-$20 boxes on ebay and other places are the RIP OFFS...all they do is by pass some sensors and tells your engine to run at a higher idle so it seems like you are getting a power increase. :mad:
 
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